For over a year now, rumors have swirled regarding the tenth anniversary iPhone that Apple is expected to launch later this year. The handset is expected to feature a radical redesign and numerous new features to set it apart as a special device.
Now, Bloomberg has reportedly talked to sources inside of Apple who have seemingly confirmed many of the previous rumors and details, including some regarding Apple’s thinking and prototype designs.
According to the people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named, Apple will indeed launch three new iPhones later this year, two continuing in the same vein as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with a third device being the so-called anniversary model. It’s this device that will feature a new AMOLED screen, designed to occupy almost the entire front of the device. The display panel will be supplied by Samsung, after the two companies signed a deal for 100 million panels last year.
The overall design of the handset is expected to be closer to the iPhone 4 “sandwich” model, with Apple experimenting with differently sized screens, metal chassis, and glass covers. The screen itself will be flat, though the covering glass is said to bend slightly towards the metal ring. In terms of screen size, the anniversary iPhone is expected to feature a display similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, though thanks to the bezel-less approach, the phone itself is reportedly closer in size to the iPhone 7.
The Home button will be abandoned completely in favor of a software solution, and Apple is reportedly looking at integrating a fingerprint scanner under the glass screen, though so far this has proven technologically challenging so it may be abandoned.
Apple is also experimenting with different camera modules both on the front and the back of the device. The world-facing shooter may feature a dual-camera setup positioned vertically, which may offer better image quality compared to the current horizontally-ordered ones. Apple, is also reportedly looking at dual-camera setups for the front-facing cameras. According to these same unnamed sources, some current prototypes still have a noticeable camera bump.
Cameras are also important for another feature that may be coming with the new iPhone: augmented reality. Tim Cook has repeatedly expressed interest and excitement for this field, so augmented reality scenarios may be part of iOS 11. The new operating system, which will power all three new iPhones, will reportedly have a brand-new user interface and other additional features, and will be unveiled, as per the usual schedule, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, starting on June 5th.
The extra work and special hardware needed for the anniversary edition iPhone may be a challenge for suppliers. That’s why the device is expected to come out later in the year and cost more than previous models, with the special handset expected to be ready for the holiday season.